Write 6 pages with APA style on Secondary Role of the Woman. In the stories “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and “Hills Like White Elephants”, by Ernest Hemingway elaborate articulation has been made by the authors as to how the women, whether traditional or modern, have always been at the receiving end and menfolk are not willing to give her space and do not realize the damage they cause to her psyche due to over-protectiveness or outright suppression of her rights and individuality. She has no life of her own and it is linked to the interests of others.
“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is concerned with the age-old traditions of the unequal status of women in the society that has a direct bearing on the institution of marriage. Women are forced into solitude as per the prevailing conventions of the society. The suffering of women is the theme of the story and as such how the institution of marriage can command respect? The traditional woman has always been at the receiving end and at every stage of her life, the domineering influence of her father first and latter that of her husband impacts her life. The narrator suffers from the inferiority complex as her psyche is controlled by her overbearing husband due to which she almost loses her independent thinking power. All avenues for the growth of her personality are barred from her physician husband who firmly believes that he has the panacea for all her ills.
She is diagnosed as ill, even though she is not! Illness is forced upon her to subdue her independent spirit. She lives the life of enforced solitude and that is not the fault of any individual, but the societal conventions demand the same. Husband has his own procedures to deal with his wife. The narrator articulates, “It is so hard to talk with John about my case, because he is so wise, and because he loves me so.” (81)After marriage, her over-protective husband is not willing to allow the sapling of her individuality to grow. She bemoans, “John is a physician, and perhaps—(I would not say it to a living soul, of course, but this is dead paper and a great relief to my mind–) perhaps that is one reason I do not get well faster.” (74) Her God-gifted creativity is not given any opportunity to grow.